Nathan Phillips Square

Use of Nathan Phillips Square for Special Events

The Municipal Code, Chapter 237, contains regulations on the use of Nathan Phillips Square for special events.  This Municipal Code restricts certain activities on the Square, without Council approval.   

These Guidelines, Eligibility and Booking Procedures summarize regulations which may affect your event.  Before filling out your Application, please review these and take action on any of those that apply to your event. 

Booking Procedures

STEP 1 - ELIGIBILITY

Applicants requesting permission to use Nathan Phillips Square to hold an event are required to meet ALL of the following criteria to have their application considered:

a)  Be a registered non-profit or charitable organization.

b)  Provide a service or benefit to residents of the City of Toronto.

c)  Have the event open to the general public and free of charge.

d)  Meet the requirements of the Non-Discrimination Policy, Save and Hold Harmless Clause and Consent to Release Personal Information.

STEP 2 – SAVE THE DATE

Provided you meet the Eligibility Criteria above, commencing on October 1st in the year prior to your event, send an EMAIL to BookingNPS@toronto.cawith the following information:

  • Date and time of your event
  • Name of  non-profit or charitable organization
  • Name and description of the event

Once your request is reviewed and if the date requested is available, a "HOLD" will be placed. If the requested date is unavailable, an alternative date will be offered based on availability.

Once the HOLD has been placed, the Event Support Supervisor will follow-up with the applicant and you will be requested to complete the application.

STEP 3 – APPLICATION

The next step is to submit a Application Form.  Applications MUST BE received a minimum of 12 weeks prior to the requested date.  Once your application is approved, a 'CONDITIONAL APPROVAL' will be granted and you can begin planning your event and working with the Event Support Supervisor to coordinate your event production schedule.

Tentative booking of a specific date does not guarantee permission to hold your event.  Your event is confirmed only when you receive a Permit from City of Toronto, Facilities Management, which can only be issued after all information is received by the Event Support Supervisor.

If for any reason you need to cancel your event, a written notice of cancellation must be sent to the Event Support Supervisor no later than 14 business days before your scheduled event.

Important Conditions

The permit is for the use of Nathan Phillips Square only. The use of Toronto City Hall, assembly area, greenrooms, and dressing rooms located under the stage can be booked upon request.

Due to the number of demands for the use of Nathan Phillips Square, no organization is permitted more than three (3) events per year.

The desecration of flags or other national symbols is prohibited.

Any action which could incite violence is prohibited.

The City of Toronto reserves the right to refuse an event if all required information is not provided by the event organizer when requested; if the Square is physically unfit for use due to inclement weather or emergency maintenance; and in the event of a labour disruption or emergency situation.

Fees

Starting on January 1, 2016, all events on Nathan Phillips Square are charged staff and service fees.  Fees are also charged for audio equipment and sound technicians. In addition a refundable damage deposit is collected.  Following receipt of a complete application and sound information, a detailed quote will be sent.  Payment is due prior to your event.  Within 60 days following your event, your event will be reconciled and your deposit, minus any outstanding fees will be returned.

STAFF RECOVERY COST: 

After hours fees will be charged for all events starting January 1, 2016. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Cancellation: Please be advised that notice of event revisions or cancellation less than 48 business hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to  4:30 pm) prior to the event date will result in full charge backs for all staff hours and any operating costs.

Civic Centres Staffing Costs

Services Fee Time
Electrician $153 + tax Minimum 4 hours
Custodial $45.90 + tax Minimum 4 hours
Security $66.30 + tax Minimum 4 hours
Fore Person $76.50 + tax Minimum 4 hours
Regular Set up $45.90 + tax Minimum 4 hours
 Building Operator  $51.00 + tax    Minimum 4 hours

     

Damage/Security Fees (subject to change):

 

 

Number of Attendees

Fee

Timelines

1

Over 100 less than 1000 attendees

$500

8 weeks prior to the event

2

Over 1001 less than 5000

$1000

8 weeks prior to the event

3

Over 5001

$2500

8 weeks prior to the event

4

Events with alcohol regardless of attendance

$5000

8 weeks prior to the event

GUIDELINES

Before filling out your application, please review these Guidelines and note those that apply to your event. If you disregard any of these Guidelines, permission will immediately be withdrawn for the use, and your event will be brought to an end. This will also jeopardize future requests.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

 To sell alcoholic beverages you must:

  • donate all profits to a non-profit or charitable organization
    • obtain a Special Occasion Permit from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
    • apply to City of Toronto Clerks Office for a letter acknowledging your event as an “Event of Municipal Significance”  (416) 392-7033
      • comply with the City of Toronto Municipal Alcohol Policy
      • provide proof of Server Intervention or Smart Serve Program trained bartenders
      • provide identifiable floor monitors in the ratio of one per 100 participants
      • obtain Toronto City Council approval (the Event Support Supervisor will assist with this process)
      • consult with Corporate Security regarding security arrangements for entrance/exit to the designated alcohol area
      • obtain a minimum $5,000,000 Certificate of Insurance for comprehensive liability coverage for your event.  (See Insurance section of these Guidelines)

Please note the following:

  • There is a serving limit of two drinks or two tickets per person at any one time.  Food (not snacks) must be available for sale in your designated alcohol area, and 35% of your alcohol menu must include low alcohol and non-alcohol drink choices.

You must post the following signs in a prominent location at your "beer or wine garden":

  • sign naming the Special Occasion Permit holder
  • DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE sign
  • IT IS HARMFUL FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO DRINK ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES sign
  • IT IS ILLEGAL TO SERVE ALCOHOL TO MINORS, INTOXICATED PATRONS, OR TO THE POINT OF INTOXICATION sign

ACCESSIBILITY

The City of Toronto supports the goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and encourages all event planners to make their events as accessible as possible to all members of the public.

ANIMALS

Exotic animals are not permitted.                       

AMPLIFICATION/AUDIO

Amplification of sound must be approved in advance and operated at sound levels outlined in the Chapter 591 “Noise” of the Municipal Code and Guidelines.

Weekdays: Amplification is permitted 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM and is not to exceed 75dBA, and from 4:30 PM – 10:00 PM and is not to exceed 85 dBA.

Weekends:  9:00 AM – 10:00 PM and is not to exceed 85 dBA.

In order to ensure the highest standards of presentation, professionalism and safety, the Nathan Phillips Square works with an exclusive audio supplier 'Westbury National'.

Audio Equipment:

Option 1: PA1: A complete sound system adequate for up to a six-piece professional band, including monitors and mixers is available on site. The applicant is responsible for hiring (at a fee) the sound technician through Event Support Supervisor.

Option 2: PA2: A public announcement system with a cd / tape deck and six microphones is available for no cost. The applicant can operate this system.

Option 3: You may bring your own sound system (upon approval). Please provide the name and telephone number of the person/company providing the system. The applicant is responsible for hiring (at a fee) the sound technician through Event Support Supervisor.

BALLOONS

Helium-filled balloons are prohibited. Balloons for distribution to the public must be air-filled. Releasing balloons is prohibited.

BARBECUES

Only propane barbecues are permitted. One fire extinguisher per barbecue unit is mandatory. Barbecues must be enclosed within barricades. All concrete slabs in food service area must be covered to prevent ground staining. Fees may be charged for any clean up required following the event.

BEAUTY PAGEANTS

Activities which degrade men or women through sexual stereotyping, or exploit the bodies of or contests men, women, boys or girls solely for the purpose of attracting attention, are not permitted.

CANDLES 

Candles are prohibited on the Square. Safety light sticks are an acceptable alternative.

DAMAGE/SECURITY DEPOSIT

The event organizer/applicant is responsible for all costs related to an event and is liable for any loss or damage to City of Toronto property or equipment.  Events will be charged a damage/security deposit fee based on the following criteria:

  • Size of the event.
  • Number of days the event will take place.
  • Infrastructure /set up of the event.

Security deposit, when required must be paid 8 weeks prior to the event start date.

Damage/Security Fees (subject to change):

 

 

Number of Attendees

Fee

Timelines

1

Over 100 less than 1000 attendees

$500

8 weeks prior to the event

2

Over 1001 less than 5000

$1000

8 weeks prior to the event

3

Over 5001

$2500

8 weeks prior to the event

4

Events with alcohol regardless of attendance

$5000

8 weeks prior to the event

Following the event, the property will be inspected by the facility representatives. If damage is accessed, the applicant will be notified and cost of repair for any damages sustained will be subtracted from the deposit fee.  Additional fees may be required.  If there is no damage, or a balance, this amount will be refunded within 60 days following the completion of the event.

ELECTRICAL

A limited number of 15 amp outlets are available at within the Square. Additional power can be requested on the application form. All electrical requirements and plans must be submitted to the Event Support Supervisor, at least 10 weeks prior to the event for review. An Electrical Safety Authority inspection may be required and if so a copy of the application must be provided to the Event Support Supervisor.

After hours fees (see Staffing Fees fee section) will be charged.

EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN/RISK ASSESSMENT

All events will be required to submit an Emergency Action Plan along with Risk Assessment to the Office of Emergency Management: oemspecialevents@toronto.ca. There are different requirements based on the size, scope and activities of your event.

EXTREME HEAT ALERT

When a City of Toronto Extreme Heat Alert is called, event organizers must make announcements identifying existing water stations and shade locations.  All permit holders are asked to remind participants of the cooling options available to them.

FIRE

Any form of open flame is prohibited.

FIRST AID

Based on your event and risk assessment, medical and/or first aid coverage is recommended. Toronto Paramedic Services or private medical service provider can be contacted to supply first aid at your event. 

FLAG RAISINGS

Please address requests for flag raisings on the podium roof to: Chief of Protocol, Protocol Office, 2nd Floor West, City Hall,Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2.  (416) 392-6745. 

FOOD SERVICE/SALES

Selling food is permitted only in support of non-profit or charitable organizations and with approval from Toronto Public Health. Applicants and their food vendors must complete “Temporary Food Establishment” forms and returned to the Event Support Supervisor at least 12 weeks prior to the event.

Please avoid the use of Styrofoam or other environmentally hazardous products. All concrete slabs in food service area must be covered to prevent staining.  Please use recycling bins provided by the City of Toronto.                                

FUND-RAISING

Selling items is permitted only in support of non-profit or charitable organizations.  Samples or sketches of all proposed items must be submitted with your Application.  Selling or distributing items requires written authorization on the Permit and will be restricted to designated tables.  Soliciting for donations is prohibited.

INSURANCE

A certificate of insurance for General Comprehensive Liability Insurance coverage, indicating a minimum of $2,000,000 coverage ($5,000,000 if serving alcohol) per occurrence is required. The City of Toronto named as an additional insured in a cross liability/severability clause. Please send the Certificate of Insurance to: Nathan Phillips Square, Event Support Supervisor, Film & Entertainment Industries, 9th Floor East, City Hall, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2 or via email: BookingNPS@toronto.ca

Please note: In some cases the limit of the liability per occurrence may increase depending on the event design.

INVITATIONS TO OFFICIALS

Please address letters of invitation for the Mayor to: His Worship Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto, 2nd Floor, City Hall, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2. Letters of invitation to City Councillors may also be sent to the above address. Please mail a copy to the attention of the Event Support Supervisor.

MEGAPHONES

Megaphones are prohibited.

OPERATING HOURS

Operations set up or take down staff are available to assist event organizers during business hours only.  Organizers are encouraged to schedule their set up/take down from:

Monday to Friday: 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

Set up happening after business hours, on weekends and statutory holidays may be permitted in consultation with Event Support Supervisor and will occur staffing fees (see Staffing Fee section).

PARADES

If your event includes a parade on a street, please contact Toronto Police at (416) 808-5049 to complete a “Notice of Intent to Hold a Parade”.

REFLECTING POOL /SKATING RINK

Entering or placing objects in the Reflecting Pool/Skating Rink is prohibited. Exclusive use of the rink for events that prevent public access is not permitted.  No commercial advertising of any kind is permitted in the pool or on the rink surface.

PROCLAMATIONS

Requests for proclamations should be addressed to: Mayor's Office, City of Toronto, 2nd Floor, City Hall, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2.  A copy of this request should also be sent to the Event Support Supervisor: BookingNPS@toronto.ca

PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES

Distribution or the sales of still bottled water is prohibited.  As an alternative, a water trailer can be booked by the applicant.

STAGE

Is available for performances on the west side of the Nathan Phillips Square. The stage has a Main Stage (including ramps), and an Upper Stage (including steps).

RAFFLES

To obtain a lottery licence, please contact the Lottery Licences Office in the City Clerk's Office,

SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF LITERATURE, MERCHANDISE & PUBLICATIONS

All printed materials to be sold, distributed or displayed are subject to prior approval.  Please enclose samples or sketches of all proposed items with your Application. 

Selling or distributing t-shirts, buttons, posters, books, magazines or other items, is permitted only in support of non-profit or charitable organizations.   Selling or distributing items requires written authorization on the Permit and will be restricted to designated tables.

Any materials, displays or speeches that would be frightening or deemed inappropriate to any age group is prohibited.

SECURITY CROWD CONTROL & EXTRA POLICING

For large events, organizers are responsible for making arrangements for crowd and traffic control.

It is the policy and mandate of the Facilities Management, Corporate Services Department to facilitate and support events taking place on Nathan Phillips Square. From time to time events occurring on the Square will have security requirements over and above those routinely provided by the Facilities Management’s Security Unit during an event.

Event organizers are free to determine their security needs and how these needs will be met in order to protect their own equipment as long as these arrangements are determined in consultation with the Supervisor Buildings Security, South District, Facilities Management at 416-392-1013.

SIGNAGE

No signs can be posted at any time without prior approval.  This includes the columns, building, walkways, or arches of City Hall.  No signs of any kind are permitted in the Peace Garden. Limited signage is allowed on the stage and surrounding area. Sketches of all proposed signage must be sent to the Event Support Supervisor for approval prior to your event.  The display of any tobacco company or product identification is strictly prohibited.

SMOKING

City of Toronto Municipal Code 636 and former Municipal Code 237 bans smoking on City of Toronto Public Squares including Nathan Phillips Square. The smoking ban is in effect 24 hours/day, seven days a week. Please inform event participants that it is against the law to smoke while attending the square.

SPORTS

Sports events on the Square must meet safety requirements.  If approved, each participant must sign a waiver prior to the event.

STAFF RECOVERY COST: 

After hours fees will be charged for all events starting January 1, 2016. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Civic Centres Staffing Costs

Services

Fee

Time

Electrician

$153 + tax

Minimum 4 hours

Custodial

$45.90 + tax

Minimum 4 hours

Security

$66.30 + tax

Minimum 4 hours

Fore Person

$76.50 + tax

Minimum 4 hours

Regular Set up

$45.90 + tax

Minimum 4 hours

 Building Operator $51.00 + tax     Minimum 4 hours

TENTS and EQUIPMENT

Heating and cooking equipment are not permitted in a tent.  All tent structures require approval.  Building permits may be for tents where the aggregate area is more than 60 sq. m. All other installations require a construction permit from Building Division, Main Floor, West, City Hall, Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2; (416) 392-7575, and a Certificate of Insurance from the company erecting the tent (See Insurance section).

There is an inventory of:

Tent

Tables

Folding Chairs

Barricades

Podium/Lectern

Two (2) 10x10

One (1) 20x20 (weather dependant) 

One (1) 10x15

25

300

150

One (1)

VEHICLES

Only vehicles essential to the operation of the event will be permitted access and must receive written authorization in advance. 

Scheduled deliveries for your event must be made through the Chestnut Gate.  Access to the area must be requested in advance.  Vehicles in excess of 23,000 pounds (loaded) cannot be accommodated on the Square

The speed limit must not exceed 8km/hour.  All vehicles driving on the Square must have hazard lights on and be escorted on and off the Square. Drivers are required to report to the Security Desk, City Hall to gain access.

Please specify anticipated arrival and departure times, size, weight and number of axles with respect to each vehicle, when completing your Application.  All vehicles must be off the Square one hour prior to the event start time.  Vehicles will not be allowed on the Square during the event time.

WASHROOMS

Public washroom facilities exist at the Square. Portable toilets and hand washing stations may be required for your event based on projected attendance.

WASTE DIVERSION

Please note, in order to comply with City Council’s Waste Diversion Policy, the person(s) and/or organization(s) signing this application must agree to dispose of all waste and recycling generated by their event this includes the removal of all grey waste water from site.  Fees may be charged for the disposal of recycling and garbage and/or clean up.